This seems to be the week of Hollywood adaptations. While "Tumsa Nahi Dekha" goes straight for "Arthur", in "Madhoshi", debutant director Tanveer Khan borrows the core of his idea from Ron Howard's multiple-Oscar winning "A Beautiful Mind", where Russel Crowe was beyond brilliant as a mathematician who "sees" persons who don't exist.
Doing a sassy about-turn, Tanveer Khan turns "A Beautiful Mind" into an intense love story peppered with a passionate zeal to give the protagonist a 'fear' deal.
As Anu the seemingly well-placed girl on the verge of marriage to Mr Perfect Priyanshu Chatterjee, Bipasha brings a rhythm of rationale to her irrational character.
The same cannot be said about other aspects of the film, which tend to bend towards the illogical.
To prove how eligible the hotshot admaker Arpit is, we get a poolside sequence. "Oooh you're so handsome!" a model in a micro-bikini smooches Mr Perfect in full public view. "Don't ever do that again," he reprimands the excited lady, as though she had just stolen his favourite GI Joe.
Marriage to Mr Placid Perfect is squandered away for an insane liaison with Aman (John Abraham), who claims to head an anti-terrorism squad.
Anu's sudden surge of passion for the stranger is well executed (far more so than the similar sequences between Basu and Abraham in Vikram Bhatt's "Aetbaar").
Anu and Aman's scenes together build up to a heart-thudding crescendo that leaves us guessing where we're heading to with the plot.
Turns out, Aman is a figment of Anu's imagination triggered off by the trauma of losing her sister in the 9/11 tragedy.
Apart from the listlessly formulistic love songs (composed by singer Roop Kumar Rathod) director Tanveer Khan seems to be in control of his narrative most of the way.... until a demoniacally botched-up finale where the plot falls apart like a house of cards, evoking laughter instead of chilling thrills.
What prompted the director to go so self-destructively from jitters to titters?
It's hard to imagine what could have possibly brought on a climax so clumsy that it negates the film's otherwise brave and rather inventive take on the illusory pitfalls of passionate love.
It's hard to look beyond the messed-up climax to what could have been a gripping and disturbing thriller. Still, praise for Bipasha Basu's performance in this chaotic depiction of a cosmic disorder is certainly in order.
Her sequences in the psychiatric ward of a hospital where she continues her illusory dialogues with Aman are shocking in more ways than one.
Stripped of all vanity, Bipasha bludgeons a hair-raising performance in a film that ultimately lets her and itself down.
Priyanshu Chatterjee as her incredibly supportive fiancé has become typecast as the happy-go-lucky noble soul.
Is there anything else on offer? His dancing in the love duet with Bipasha gives an all-new interpretation to the cult of clumsiness.
The film is filled with TV stars who squeal hard and bustle around trying to look busy and useful at the fringes.
John Abraham plays what is arguably the only non-existent love-interest in a Hindi film. Hard reality or illusion, his range of expressions remain limited to a devious grimace and a lop-sided grin.
As usual, the plot devises to make him take off his shirt for a sweaty seduction scene that is wrong to the coherence of the plot as a bhajan during times of disco.
The seduction song in a roomy apartment is inter-cut with soaked half-naked couples cavorting in the rain down below. Two at the price of one? Tragically, the debutant directors plays the wrong notes in a musical session that has plenty of bite to begin with but loses its teeth as the plot progresses.
As for being a desi acutely romantic take on "A Beautiful Mind", "Madhoshi doesn't do too badly for itself.
If only our filmmakers had the courage to go all the way with their innovation instead of turning back halfway through, then Bipasha would have been as dazzling as a schizophrenic as Russel Crowe in the original.
Not just Bipasha, the film too suffers from a split personality.